What Your Senior Dog Would Like To Say to You

Cindy SmithDog Health, Senior Dogs

senior dogs

Too often, senior dogs are the last to be adopted in a shelter. Maybe his pet parent passed away. Or she can’t jog with her owner anymore. Or he needs a little help getting up the stairs.

Either way, whether you they young or old, mutt or pure bred, there are some things a senior dog languishing in the shelter wants you to know spoken from his viewpoint!

They may not know my breed
The shelter may only have an educated guess at my breed. If you’re really curious, there are many DNA tests online that you can choose from. My pet parents who surrendered me may have given the shelter some information, but if you are looking for a pure bred, a shelter may not be the best place for a new companion unless you go to a breed specific shelter.

It may take me some time to adapt
It is a whole new experience for me adjusting to my new home with all the new sights and sounds. Imagine if I took you away from your family and friends and took you  to a new place where you knew no one. That’s me!

Do you have other dogs, cats or kids? It may take me a little while to learn to adjust to them. Especially other pets! We have to establish the pecking order (who is in charge). If possible, bring the kids to the shelter to meet me and see how we all do. Some dogs do better as only dogs and some breeds do better with older children.

It’s not my fault
Senior dogs end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, none of which are my fault or my fellow shelter mates:

  • Families move to apartments or dwellings where they can’t have pets
  • Kids are born and pet parents don’t want the added responsibility of a pet
  • Economic situations change and pets can be expensive
  • Divorce
  • Health issues
  • Owner dies
  • Outlived usefulness as a show dog
  • Too many pets in home
  • No time for pet

Just know that I’m not here because I am a BAD dog. If I have some bad habits, I am willing to learn. Teach me and train me.

I will make you happy
I will love you unconditionally. All I ask is for a warm place to stay and food, water and exercise. Okay, maybe a scratch or two and an occasional treat. I will be grateful you have given me a second chance at happiness. In return, I will wake you up every morning with a kiss. I will listen to all your problems and NEVER judge you. When you come back from being out and about, I will greet you with a smiling, happy face. Feeling blue? I will try and cheer you up. Want to go on a road trip? I’m in. I’m always up for an adventure.

I may be anxious when you bring me home
I have been abandoned once, so I may be afraid of being abandoned again. Newly adopted dogs are at a higher risk of developing separation-related problems if they are smothered with attention their first few days home.  It might be best to leave the room for brief periods, up to a few minutes several times a day, so when you leave it’s not such a big deal for me.

I may not be a puppy, but I still have a lot to offer
Now don’t get me wrong I love those young fellas too. But I like to think of myself as “emotionally mature”. I am house trained. With me, what you see is what you get whereas puppies are an unknown ball of fire. Afraid I won’t bond to you like a puppy? I will!

Make a plan for me when you are gone
As much as I’d like to believe you will never die, I may outlive you or you may become too sick to care for me. Please have a plan for me so I don’t have to go back to the shelter. This may be a friend or relative you trust – just someone who will love me and take responsibility for me!

I really, really want to be adopted and am looking forward to being somebody’s love sponge!